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Our Founding History

Our Founder

Bishop Sixtus Mazzoldi

The religious Institute of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHS) was founded by Bishop Sixtus Mazzoldi MCCJ on 28th March 1954, with the first profession of four (4) Sisters. In 1949 some girls in Juba Diocese expressed the desire to consecrate themselves to God in the religious life. Monsignor Mlakic, Prefect Apostolic of Juba took interest in them but due to poor health, he was taken to Egypt in 1950 but soon died a year later in 1951. The most Reverend Sixtus Mazzoldi, who succeeded him, continued the work of his predecessor by establishing the “Sudanese Teaching Sisters of the Sacred Heart”, that was the name at the time, for the purpose of assisting the Comboni Missionaries in the work of evangelization; teaching, health care and preaching the word of God through various activities in the Church. In 1951, Bishop Sixtus Mazzoldi appointed Sr. Donatilla Moroni of the Verona Sisters as Mother General and Novice Mistress and took her and four Postulants to Loa Parish for their formation. On Sunday, March 23rd 1952, the first four postulants received their habit as Novices from the hand of Bishop Mazzoldi during a solemn service in the Church of Loa. Two years after, on Sunday 28th March 1954, the four Novices made their first profession. Other girls were soon attracted by their way of life and desired to join the congregation to become religious sisters.

Vision of our Founder

The vision of the founder was that the sisters will be educators: teaching Catechism in the parish and teach in Schools at various levels. The first four sisters took teaching with all their heart. He told them that no matter your profession, you are a catechist. Even today as we carry on teaching, health services, pastoral work and other social ministries; all of it is to teach the people we minister to in the way of the Gospel of Christ

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The first Congregation members were: “Sr. Mary Barbara Anunciata Ihanga, Sr. Mary Annetta Rose Yunis, Sr. Mary Angelina Assumpta Imiana and Sr. Mary Modesta Auxilia Irenge”. All of them were teachers.

Rev. Sr. M. Barbara Anunciata Ihanga: as a religious Sister she taught in schools in South Sudan, Palotaka, Juba and Torit. She also carried out apostolate in El Obeid Diocese and Khartoum Archdiocese before being transferred to the Archdiocese of Juba after retiring until her death she remained a teacher of catechesis in Parishes.

Rev. Sr. M. Annetta Rose Yunis: From the time of her religious profession as a teacher she remained close to the administration forming young women to become sisters. In 1976 she was elected the first black Superior General of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus a position she carried until her death in 1979. During her leadership, she exhorted the sisters to always forgive every hurt in these words, “Sisters let us be ready to forgive, love each other, be ready for the work of the Mission of God no matter where, when, how and what?…….”.

Rev. Sr. M. Angelina Assumpta Imiana: She was the aspirant Mistress, welcoming them always with great smiles when the aspirants join the convent. Sr. Angelina taught the Aspirants how to conduct themselves as they prepare to become Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She taught how the Aspirants can follow Jesus in meekness, gentleness and forgiveness. She exhorted the young girls to emulate prayers and hard work, charity, obedience and humility. Later in the years Sr. Angelina became a Nurse, a profession she carried out very well until her death.

Rev. Sr. M. Modesta Auxilia Irenge: She worked in Loa and Palotaka Missions after the expulsion of the Comboni Missionaries from Sudan. Sr. Modesta was one of those who escaped to Moyo Uganda then she returned to South Sudan to help the people who remained in South Sudan. Sr. Modesta was the first one to die from the group.ou

Rev. Sr. Mother Annetta Rose Yunis

The newly professed Sisters taught in school and engaged in pastoral activities in Loa Parish. The apostolate was expanded up to Juba and in 1963, the young Congregation fled to Northern Uganda because the then Superior General Mother Elisabeth Coggi was denied visa by the Sudan government prior to expulsion of all missionaries in 1964. They all became refugees in Northern Uganda. That is how the congregation began to grow in Uganda. In Juba and Uganda, members began to train in health ministries and other social works, but all the apostolates done in love and compassion. By moving into Uganda, the congregation became international in its membership and commitments.

The sisters helped the women, children and the most abandoned of the society in the Sudan, South Sudan and in Uganda. However, the work of our first sisters has evolved over time. To date we have 121 teachers (including those who have died and left the Institute). 57 nurses, midwives, laboratory technicians and 168 social and pastoral workers.